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Three Days in Bed      
Three Days in Bed

As midnight loomed over William’s house, Tiffany bunkered into a sound sleep, unaware that Butchie’s skilled hands, covered in thin leather gloves, were prying at the lock on the backdoor. The intense moon offered just enough light as Butchie shooed Pumpkin Face back and gave her the thumbs up. The solid framed house remained quiet. They stepped inside. Tank followed, quickly pushing Pumpkin Face. Butchie tapped Tank on the shoulder, passing to her a box cutter and duct tape. She signaled with two fingers as they gathered in a huddle.
“I’ll go to the nursery. If she’s not in there, bring her to me and keep the noise down.”
The threesome crept upstairs, one by one, clearing a path for each. Butchie peered into the nursery, standing up straight, a tingling sensation rousing her fingertips as she spotted the back of Jordan’s perfect round head. She waved Tank and Pumpkin Face forward, winking at them with a sly smile, “Tank, stay at her face. On my cue, tie her feet up as soon as her eyes pop.”
Tank slid across the floor, peering into Tiffany’s room, stepping on her tippy toes with Pumpkin Face behind her. Filled with adrenaline, Tank stood above Tiffany’s body filled with jealousy, her life appearing so sweet. The light on Jordan’s infant monitor began to flash as Butchie settled into the rocking chair with the sleeping child. As Butchie’s hummed, the lullaby began to broadcast softly through the monitor. Tiffany’s eyes sprung open. Tank’s forearm crushed her throat. Pumpkin Face jammed her knee into Tiffany’s thighs as a knife flashed in plain view.
“Hey bitch,” Tank whispered, filled with criminal intensity, “Don’t make a sound or I’ll cut your damn throat.”
Tiffany’s eyes flashed wildly as Pumpkin Face wrapped her ankles, jumping towards the headboard with her hand ripping into Tiffany’s hair. She gagged her mouth with a sock. Duct tape followed in four strips across her cheeks, all the while, Tiffany lay frantic, wondering who had her infant son.
Pumpkin Face bound her wrists and led her into the nursery, encouraged by a knife and a glock clutched in Tank's free hand. Tiffany’s eyes bulged, her face now rippling with horror. Butchie cradled her son, looking up at Tank.
“Put her right at my feet.”
Tank yanked her forward as Tiffany began to cry, shaking her head, understanding her demise.
“Yeah,” Butchie said, “You know the drill, once you earn your stripes, you keep ‘em.”
Tiffany shook her head in resistance. Tank punched her in the stomach, watching her curl over in throbbing pain, unearthing the trauma in her womb. She shoved her face under Butchie’s boot and waited for the order.
“That’s right Jordan,” Butchie teased, “Mommy’s an ‘ole gang banger on the run.” Tank wrenched Tiffany’s face to the side, slicing her face open in the very spot her old initiation scar appeared.
Tiffany screamed through the tape, trembling before Pumpkin Face’s eyes. Butchie hushed her with a stern kick as blood pooled into her ear.
“Think Tiffany. Tank tried to call you for more cash and you sittin’ around acting like you’re a fucking celebrity.”
Butchie stood up, pretending to fumble Jordan, “Whoa...whoa boy,” she teased, placing Jordan back into his crib as the unsuspecting infant continued to slumber. Butchie sat on the floor next to her as Tank straddled Tiffany at the hip with Pumpkin Face minding the door.
“Now,” Butchie ordered, cleaning her rugged nails with the tip of the knife, “It ain’t like you can ask for help knowing what we know right?” Butchie grabbed her chin, watching Tiffany agree, snot flaring from her nostrils. Butchie turned her face, admiring her stripes.
“You tell on us, Lady Dee tells the law you conspired on Portia for months to get that jump off right.” Butchie deliberated further, “You may have to do some time for that shit. Even if you get probation, nobody in your fake ass family is ever gonna look at you the same again.”
Tears streamed from Tiffany’s eyes, burning the exposed wound.
“Shush now,” Butchie ordered, patting her trembling shoulder, “You’ll wake the baby.”
Butchie took an envelope out of her pocket and laid it on Tiffany’s heaving chest.
“Now, inside that envelope is some importat information. By Monday you need to be done and heading home until we call you again.”
She motioned Pumpkin Face and Tank to start removing the tape.
“We’re gonna leave real quiet, so you can get to know your new scar.”
Butchie yanked Tiffany’s hair as a reminder. “Don’t try to run because we’ll find you. And when Tank calls..., make sure you answer the damn phone.”


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